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National

MI: ACLU Michigan Attorney Advocates End of Registry; Provides Update on 6th Circuit Decision

In a recent NPR interview, ACLU Michigan attorney Miriam Aukerman stated she believes that sex offender registries should be abolished.  In support of that belief, Aukerman stated that registries are ineffective and make society less safe.

Aukerman criticized both legislators and law enforcement for the current challenges now facing registrants.  Legislators have passed and keep passing new laws because they believe doing so will help them to get re-elected.  Law enforcement spends time and money monitoring people convicted of a sex offense when they should be monitoring those who actually pose a danger to society.  If registries cannot be abolished, they should be reduced by removing all children and by shortening the amount of time individuals should be required to register, according to the ACLU attorney.

Aukerman also discussed the current status of Michigan sex offender laws which were declared unconstitutional by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016.  Despite that ruling, the state of Michigan has failed to modify its sex offender laws.

According to the ACLU attorney, she and others are negotiating with the Michigan state legislature about changes to the state’s sex offender laws.  Because the Court has retained jurisdiction of the case, it could issue an injunction preventing enforcement of the state’s sex offender laws if the legislature does not act quickly.

In the closing of the radio interview, Aukerman posed an important question for the public to consider: do you want to be mad (that someone has already been sexually assaulted) or do you want to be safe (from a future sexual assault)? She then added, “if you want to be safe, you don’t want a registry.”

Interview

Join the discussion

  1. Eric

    It’s happening…it’s happening! Thank you ACLU attorney Miriam Aukerman.

    • Punkrocker88

      Dose this mean the tables have turned??? I like when it makes the news

    • Joe123

      It’s happening in your lifetime. That much is guaranteed. Humans injustices have never stood the test of time.

  2. Gralphr

    Yes, the laws should be abolished or EVERYONE on the registry should be able to get off, and not 25 years later. If a person regardless of the conviction has been out a decade, crime free, how can one say they’re dangerous and should be barred from living where they school, not to mention going to public facilities, while having to pay for them via taxes!? That reeks of unconstitutional abuses of power.

  3. Jack

    Well then, let’s just hope they fail to act here.

    • Chris f

      Failure to reach terms would be a win for all.

      Legislators get to save votes by not looking soft by reducing the registry punishment.

      Judges get to show they gave time for a legislative fix to avoid setting loose all those evil trench coat wearing offenders.

      Registrants get to no longer be registrants.

  4. troy

    now hopefully,it will pass all over the usa or I dreaming?………

  5. Tim in WI

    Just lip service that’s all this is. Who or what is the legislature stuck hard against?
    Federal domestic surveillance saints. Do you believe it does not involve their desired uses of the database? Of course it does, thus they preferred unfettered use. The best way to be granted unfettered use was through the collateral means first justified by attaching the onus to the sexual oriented offender. A path of least resistance the general public would tolerate.

    • Gralphr

      Exactly. They knew they’d never get these Nazi inspired laws passed on their own, so they decided to pick sex offenders as the scapegoat. The man who killed my father in cold blood while I was a child is not in prison any longer and hes not on any registry.

      • Tim in WI

        Gralphr,
        While the SOR regime in some sense does mirror the registration regimes imposed upon the 1930s Jewish European population it still has some implied benevolent intent remaining.

        No man may reasonably dispute the proprietary in gov having a database of convicted bad actors, however a dispute surrounding a human’s subservient disposition to same must be had. There is a big difference between gov having a database machine and gov enslaving the citizen to the machines’ lawful’ upkeep and maintenance.

        • Gralphr

          Thats just it, there’s nothing wrong with a database (after all, everyone with a conviction is in a database). The problem is singling out a group of people for discrimination, throwing out constitutional laws with a wink. marking their personal identification to single them out (passports, drivers licenses in some states). Those are easily compared to the Nazi laws. Its beyond me why people are so quick to try to pretend as if in no way are these draconian laws comparable (not saying you), but they’re easily comparable (minus the gas chambers). My wife and kids are also punished due to myself being on the registry, and they’re forced to conceal the fact I’m on the registry or face banishment by their friends or their friends parents. I even recently viewed some youtube videos of some guy who went to Germany to escape these laws, and Germans said the laws remind them of the Nazi era, which is really something.

  6. Facts should matter

    The unmitigated gall of the courts claiming we have to PROVE harm incurred as a result of being publicly listed on the Online hit list. Hell, shouldn’t it be self-proving and self-evident of being placed in harm’s way by extension of inclusion? I don’t know about you people, but privacy and safety curtailment is a form of abuse and neglect. We’re set up to be snuffed! These vote chasers can’t hide behind the persisting myths of “high recidivism” and “public safety” arguments forever.

    • Gralphr

      Exactly. Not only that, common sense says these laws also affect are families (especially our kids) in a big way. I’m not trusted to be at my kids school for anything (even though other adults are there) yet I’m supposed to trust them with my kid? When you’re banished from living in a certain area, your kids are also punished. Its amazing illegals are in a similar situation (people say think about how their kids feel, if the parents are deported, locked up, etc.) but actual citizens dont get the same treatment.

    • Jon

      I can certainly prove harm, beyond a doubt. Our Daughter was taken from us by CPS, even though we never did anything wrong. We were never charged with a crime. instead they cited that they did not believe my wife could adequately protect our daughter, because I have to register and my wife would not divorce me.
      We did everything they asked of us, but the entire court case was just a dog and pony show so they could say they did what was required. They had zero intentions of returning her, and now our daughter was adopted by the foster woman, who also lied and schemed through the entire thing.
      She was 5 months old when they took her… now she is 5, and no one has any idea what to do. Even Janice said she wouldn’t know where to start, because it involves family law. Also I know she is busy, and something involving just one family isnt so important in the grand scheme of things.
      So do you think I can prove harm? We have been denied the most basic of rights. To have and raise a family, simply because I’m on the registry. That’s pretty harmful if you ask me.

      • James I

        Dear Jon;

        That is heart breaking…I kind of wish I hadn’t read this this morning; I am sure you have made your adjustments…to this real tragedy, and nothing I can say will make it any better.

        This is just incomprehensible to me…the wrongness.

        I am sorry.

        I wish you well, James I

      • Chris f

        Jon, I am sorry to hear about that and wish you the best.

        Unfortunatley, after 5 years it is getting late to undo if your daughter has only known the foster mom. Were you and your wife allowed any visitation to keep any type of familial relationship going?

        It should require strictest judicial scrutiny to break up family. What attorneys were involved in the beginning and what reasons were given? Was this in California? Was your offence against a relative? Recidivism involving a relative is extremely rare if the previous offense wasnt against a relative and any psychologist should testify to that.

        This could require both a family and civil rights attorney and if the people involved with the state that did this to you clearly violated your rights they may not be immne from a lawsuit for damages.

        Please keep us posted and provide more details if you can.

  7. Steve

    This story is good news for a couple reasons. First, the ACLU brings more resources to the table than we possibly could. Secondly, they only commit resources to a fight when they think they will win.

    • AJ

      @Steve:
      And I would add: an interview with NPR gives massive exposure to the case, the facts, and our plight. Once again, the momentum shifts just a smidgen in our favor. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the NPR story gets picked up by some other news service.

      I wonder if my “favorite” SCOTUS member listens to NPR… 😉

      • Gralphr

        One things for sure. If they win and I have a way off the registry there (hopefully after a certain amount of years (less than 20 years or some crazy stuff, I’ve been on it for 13+ now) I will be moving my family to Michigan and I hate the cold. While I was in Indiana I had the ability to petition to get off, but I doubt I would get approved, and I dont want to pay $5k just fir a “no, try again next year). I have never been through a sex offender class (I was never ordered) and that’s one of the things they like to see. (the police at the registry and the one that did my checks said they felt I definitely was a candidate to get off due to my conduct post Imprisonment, but the whole system has left a bad taste in my mouth…..

        • Will Allen

          People should pay no one to petition to get off of the Registries. Not a single dollar to anyone. If anyone is paid, that helps establish that there is some legitimacy to all the idiocy. It doesn’t deserve it.

          People also should not include any psychological “evaluations” or similar. We know those are bunk. Don’t help the criminal regimes pretend they aren’t.

          If no one pays, that will become the expected norm.

          The pathetic thing is if the criminal regimes actually cared about public safety, they would destroy the Registries completely. They don’t care.

        • TS

          While I agree with @Will Allen that no one should pay to get off of the registry, the court would not stand to do their job without their fees to even operate because not even the taxes levied are enough to pay for them in their eyes….or are they?

          I’d like to think to that someone , e.g. a person on the registry currently, in MI who is smart to put together a great pro se petition could really help their fellow people on the registry with a template of what to put together so pro se efforts could be contemplated and possibly completed. I agree with that paying high fees for such a move using a professional is a bit much and discouraging to many who cannot really afford it with those who really are not invested in their client’s lives. Not every atty is a Janice, Chance, et al, who truly understand.

          There was enough support of @Miker here when he was building his case that something similar could happen so the specifics of each case could be filled in where needed while the general repetitive details could be a template for filings. There are enough MI brains who chime in here that I’d like to think they could pool themselves to do this and then help others to pay it forward. Heck, tap into the UM law school students who could possibly help here create the docs needed. You talk about marching on Capital Hill, how about marching on the court system in mass or a long line of people petitioning to be removed? That’ll fill the court system rather quickly possibly.

          I disagree with @Will Allen about the Psych Evals though. They will be needed to show someone is a “safe” person (the legal system’s understanding, not mine). Finding the right person (or people) to do the eval will be key so they are not seen as a hired gun to merely get paid for a favorable report. Having had two of these done seven years apart with the same safe conclusion, finding the right people are key.

        • R M

          @TS who said “…the court would not stand to do their job without their fees…”. Court fees aren’t the problem, lawyer fees are.

        • TS

          @R M

          Maybe you missed the point, but paying to be removed from a registry should not happen regardless if it is an atty fee and/or a court/legal because registries should not exist. That is the point. But if you want to pay court fees to be removed from the registry on top of atty fees or other fees related to being removed, then go for it. As long as registries exist, any fee dealing with them is a fee no one should pay.

        • Will Allen

          No, it was not my point that Registries should not exist. My point is that people should not pay attorneys, psychiatrists, therapists, or anyone else. I don’t really care about nominal court fees.

          Psychiatrists and therapists don’t have any idea if someone is “safe” or not. Don’t help courts or anyone else think otherwise. None of it is legitimate.

          If 1,000 people petition to be removed and none of them have paid for hired help, that will be the correct norm.

          No one should waste $1 more on the illegal Registries. Focus on costing the people who support it.

        • TS

          Getting soft @Will Allen supporting the courts and their criminal regimes as you call them? Very interesting…

        • Will Allen

          @TS:

          It doesn’t really matter but you are totally missing what I’m saying.

          I’m not talking about piddly little fees here and there that everyone has to pay in order to use the courts. Maybe you have to pay some of that. Maybe you have to pay to have papers copied. Just the cost of doing things.

          I’m talking about very big expenses that don’t have to be paid and paying them supports the lie that any of it is legitimate or intelligent. Paying that money also supports a big reason why there are Registries. The people involved in all of it love the money. A key reason that many “people” say the Registries are needed is because of money.

          Lastly, courts don’t have criminal regimes. The criminal regimes are governments.

        • TS

          But @Will Allen, courts are part of the criminal regime since they are in the judicial branch of the government. Can’t get away from them. Just because the courts administer the law as passed by elected officials, the courts are not any less culpable of being part of the regime. We have noted that time and time again here. Judges should grow a spine to administer what they think is best, not what elected officials think to corner judges into administering the law, while prosecutors should also grow a spine and use latitude in their discretion to prosecute before actually going through a court action.

          If there were not registries, then no one would need to petition the court to be removed and pay those associated fees; thus, saving the person money they could use to buy food for their family, pay for a cellphone bill, etc. All of those little fees add up to a lot of little fees in one big pot of fees at the end of the year thus making money for the criminal regime.

    • Harry

      Only, if ACLU was this aggressive 20-25 years ago, there would be no registry.

  8. Jane

    Let me get this straight…it’s been proven unconstitutional AND serves little to no value except costing millions of dollars to tax payers. Hahahaha!! Wow. Don’t worry though…literally nothing has been done to correct it and that also hasn’t been addressed in a manner to truly find even a semi reasonable solution. What the actual F blank C-K.

  9. TnT

    More wolf cookies being served in line two , … I truly believe this is another stall tactic from these jack asses, Beware ! I wouldn’t get my hopes up to much over this , They have been saying the same B.s for years and Nothing ! I still didn’t hear her say what day they were going to “Stop” applying unconstitutional laws to the citizens of the state of Michigan ? Or jailing them if they fail to comply to the unconstitutional amendments that these corrupt politicians have applied as punitive punishment , applying this registry mostly and in many cases years after someone’s sentence ? With out any due prosses what so ever , No judge…No jury….just a room full of corrupt politicians punishing their own citizens at will. What they need in Lansing Mi. is a protest on the steps of the capital building before they will understand we are tired of their B.s ! Comply with the courts or deal with the ones you are affecting.

  10. COOL CA RC

    Now I know where she stand.. I was afraid that they would compromised and nothing changed. Maybe this is a good hope.

  11. Richard

    I am in Missouri myself, however if I was in the great State of Mi. I would not be abiding registration laws that have been deemed unconstitutional My attorney would be notifying state police that if an arrest warrant is issued Bond would be posted and unlawful arrest suit will take place, I believe those in the state of Mi. can sue there local law enforcement who violated the Constitutional right’s even though laws where in place to allow it they were unconstitutional laws and every law enforcer has to take a oath to protect constitution of the united states. I would love to see this take place. Really give em something to think about.

    • COOL CA RC

      Check with the aclu to see if the people in MI can do this..
      Maybe ACLU can write a blanket RTO for everyone who is on the registry

  12. just me

    Thanks for typing this out for some of us who have hard time hearing .

  13. BogAnt

    To my fellow Michiganders, please take the time to read the articles the ACLU has posted in regards to what we are supposed to do until the law changes. They make it very clear, “YOU MUST STAY COMPLIANT UNTIL THE LAW HAS CHANGED ON THE BOOKS”

    In other words, please do not go out and blatantly try to defy the registry and the restrictions. Most jurisdictions are not enforcing the exclusion zones (I myself love less than 1000 feet from a park, and MSP knows). This will only make things worse for you, possibly get you arrested, and additional charges. Yes, eventually the courts would dismiss it, but the ACLU has made it abundantly clear that they cannot represent us in criminal cases, so you would be dishing out pointless money on a lawyer or hoping that a court appointed lawyer would do their job.

    In a nutshell, don’t poke a sleeping bear so to speak. Stay compliant, as the end of finally in sight. This week a package of bills changing the SOR is being presented to the House and Senate Judiciary Committee for deliberation. Next Status update will be the week of September 21st and they have to show significant progress toward reform.

    • Guy

      @Bogants

      Where did you see/hear/find info about bills being introduced this week and do you have info as to what they entail?

  14. David

    I simply do not understand this bullsh#t!
    After 4 years of repeatedly being designated UNCONSTITUTIONAL, why are these laws not AUTOMATICALLY NULL AND VOID as of the Court’s deadline??? 😠
    Why can’t the ruling judge simply say to Michigan’s lawmakers, “Listen, you have a very simple decision to make: You either fix this law by this date or it will be, as of that date, automatically stricken from the State’s statutes? No excuses, no extensions, no delays. Period.” 😠

    • BigAnt

      I wish it was that easy. I’ve been on since 1997. Never should have been placed on the adult registry to begin with, let alone for life, yet here I am.

  15. TnT

    I truly believe, those of us who were forced on to this barbaric punitive registry after our convictions with out a judge or jury ordering us on it , Should have been removed ASAP , How they got away with applying punitive unjust laws to us retroactively is Wrong, I do not understand how they can continue to force these punitive laws upon the citizens of this state , after a court ruling that it is punitive and can not be applied retro actively . I think the politicians of this state are forgetting we still can Vote ! I know myself & my family and friends will Vote against any politician who is against bring this unconstitutional law into compliance with the law. The state of Michigan & corrupt politicians have pulled the wool over the peoples heads long enough with this registry .It has hurt many people and their families, it is not fair. The state should be held responsible for applying this punitive registry ex post facto too thousands of people with out due process, you are not allowed to ever apply punishment after someone has been sentenced already , let alone allow a renegade politicians to amend the laws to apply years and years of punishment to thousands of citizens. This is a civil rights violation to thousands .

    P.s they only get away with applying it to us is because most of us do not have the money too pay our ways threw courts to be removed , This is a true fact they apply these unconditional laws and force them on the poor. If we had money we wouldn’t be on the list.

  16. Don’t tread on me

    All is silent on the Michigan Legislature changing the law. Not surprised…

  17. Cool CA RC

    is there a way to write to this lawyer to encourage or donate?

  18. TnT

    @ Don’t Tread ……. Like a house mouse on Christmas Eve …. They could careless if they are breaking the law. Michigan politicians are nothing but a bunch of bullies who abuse their powers to apply unconstitutional laws to the less privleged citizens of this state. I just wish the civil rights lawyers would step up and make them pay for abusing their powers against the people of this state. To be able to retroactive such a punitive barbaric registry to thousands of citizens after a conviction is double jeopardy .A violation of due process in a court of law, Its a crime for them to turn their cheeks on the fact that it is punitive …. Pure B.S ! These politicians & judges know the damage being put on this registry does to not only the ones they have retroactively applied this punishment to , But the families that have had to suffer from it as well . Sad to see they act like its no big deal.

  19. TnT

    I do know the new administration in Michigan, Have a lot to deal with , a lot of Michigan’s problems stem from them two bozos , Dick Snyder …Opps ..I mean Rick Snyder … and his dirty side kick Bill Schuette .They are to reneged politicans who applied a lot of these punitive amendments to this registry and made them retroactive to citizens with out due process.

    • D Dennis

      Even being retroactive still misses the point that they are punitive in nature and therefore unconstitutional,I am at a loss of understanding why the ACLU has not sued every State in the Union over this ruling. Once it was called punitive that ended its legal structure under civil law, Need to pour gas on this fire to clear the underbrush of civil corruption that they knowingly created to make people’s lives a living he’ll along with all their family, they constantly send propaganda on Facebook. I see it all the time.

      • Will Allen

        Rise up. Time to wage war.

        Join the Registration Liberation Army (RLA). Be a lone wolf (would say “be an army of one” but the U.S. federal criminal regime took that). Run in a pack. But be part of the army. All you have to do to be part of the RLA is declare it to yourself. Join the ACLU and help file the lawsuits.

        • COOL CA RC

          How about Registration Citizen Liberation Army (RLCA)?

  20. TnT

    @ COOL CA RC …. I like that , I think we should all start protesting on the front sidewalks of these corrupt politicians houses with picket signs , I will join … ANY… time any place. We need to start spreading the word to all 45,000 and get the ball rolling .Lets give them the army they have created . It is unconstitutional and barbaric to keep forcing these laws on us after a court of law has told them they are punitive . Most of the laws that convicted most of us are unconstitutional in the fist place , they make these laws to convict with out evidence in 90% of the sex cases they do not even need a time or day , Its sick a total abuse of power. America is supposed to be incent un tell proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt , sh%t , most of us were guilty the second we walked in the court room .With no evidence what so ever , They need more proof to convict someone of stealing a candy bar then sex cases in Michigan, No burden of proof is needed if it involves a minor in Michigan . They have gotten away with these unjust laws for long enough ,its time we do form a coalition to start to fight back . I bet with 45,000 people we could march everyday in front of their houses, from sun up to sun down , 7 days a week, 365 days a year . Easy ! P.s then they will not have to worrie about where we are .

    • Jeremy

      Hey i couldn’t say it any better and i totally 100% agree. 👍 I love your comment. COOL CA RC

  21. The Vampire

    In the past i had a cop get very ticked off at me. I was home and this cop stopped by to check on me. I asked him why you wasting time and taxpayer money? He told me that the police needed to KNOW WHERE i was at all times! I said cool! WHERE was i last night? He looked at me with a shocked face and said don’t get smart with me. But i still keep asking where will i be tomorrow? Or a week from now. Where was i last week. The cop was pretty mad cause he couldn’t tell me. Anyway to stop in and check on people is a waste of taxpayer money they should be out catching drunk drivers! The registers list need to go! It does not stop crime. You could drive across the state and no one would even know you was on the list. Law makers are the worst people in the world. Passing laws and not thinking about how it could impact there family or friends or grandkids.

    • MD

      Isn’t that considered harrassment. If they just drop in. I know that you all have to register and all and sometime they do sweeps to check on you all but to just drop in when a cop feels like it sounds like harassment if you are doing nothing wrong. They don’t even keep that much eyes on people who are paroled for murdering and they could murder again. Or even robbery. Complete BS

      • Will Allen

        Yes, it is harassment. But people allow it so they promote and encourage it. So it will continue.

        The Registries themselves are harassment. Nothing legitimate about them or the people who support them.

  22. John

    There was a news article posted on September 10th addressing the Michigan deadline. Here is a line that confused me A LOT!

    “Lawmakers have not acted because no changes have been suggested by the task force charged with addressing the judge’s orders, state Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Chairman Pete Lucido, R-Shelby Township, told The News. That’s despite the Aug. 21 deadline for change having come and gone.”

    If that’s the case, then what in the HELL have they been doing all this time????and especially the past 90 DAYS???? I thought the “Task force” (that met every week) was suggesting the changes to make to Sora with some type of agreement in process. This rep is on the senate judiciary committee. What in the hell does she mean “No Changes have been suggested”?????

    Enough of the games, an Injunction needs to be requested NOW!

    Article Link:
    https://www.thealpenanews.com/news/local-news/2019/09/lawmakers-miss-deadline-to-change-sex-offender-registry/

  23. Bobby S.

    Hello Everyone,

    I just receives this email from the MCFJ (Michigan Citizens for Justice) So if some one would kindly explain to me what this means in laymen’s terms, and how this may or may not affect the fact that the legislature has to revise the registry would be much appreciated, I am kind of confused on how this will affect pre-sorna registrants. Here is the link: http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2019-HB-4857

    • Josh

      @BobbyS….as near as I can tell it is just changing the language of the 1994 statute. I don’t think it has anything to do whatsoever with what’s going on now….this same guy introduced another bill mentioned by somebody else on here earlier today….I’d do what I always do when I’m not sure and ask @Aj to take a look and see what he thinks…

      • John

        They EXTENDED the sex offender registration annual fees to the year 2023 is what the bill means. Remember Michigan legislature is working on the “Budget” right now that is due in October. How else can they get more revenue?

        Yes…….the bill they introduced on 8/29/19, PASSED IT INTO LAW on 9/11/19 (which was less than a month), but didn’t do ANYTHING yet about addressing the Sixth Circuit’s issues. Please don’t let anyone tell you that getting a bill passed is a “slow” process to go through the legislature. They pass what they want to pass quickly, and sleep on the other bills. Not surprised though, as it only took them two months to introduce AND pass the 2011 SORA Changes, but yet almost 4 years (and counting ) and nothing has been introduced to remove the unconstitutional parts of the registry.

        “House Bill 4857 would amend the Sex Offenders Registration Act (1994 PA 295) by extending the applicability of the fee assessed for annual registration to the sex offender registry. Currently, individuals initially required to register after January 1, 2019, are not required to pay the annual registration fee. The bill would maintain the FY 2018-19 fee amount by extending the date by which initial registration had to occur for a registrant to be responsible for the annual registration fee to January 1, 2023.The fee is currently $50 annually. A maximum lifetime cumulative fee amount of $550 is established in the act, which includes an initial $50 registration and ten $50 annual registrations”

        “MSP estimates that the resulting revenue loss if the sunset is not extended would total approximately $500,000 annually from the $30 portion of the fee.The estimated revenue loss for all registering authorities resulting from the loss of the $20 portion would totalapproximately $330,000. “

      • AJ

        @Josh:
        It appears John has already stepped up and laid it out. (*whew!* 😀 ) Reading what he posted, it is indeed a bit of a digital rectal exam to RCs (were there ever analog ones?). Instead of solving anything worthwhile, they’re instead focusing on the money-grab. Gee, what a surprise out of slimy, self-serving legislators who care nothing about facts (80%!) and courts (6th CCoA).

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